Antiquity Throw Down

Post-move and officially on T, I am back to working out with the (semi-lofty) goal of developing boxer body. I’m no fighter, just to make that clear. In fact, I relate way more to Lovers‘ romantic metaphor expressed below than actual split-lip throwdowns:

That said, turn-of-the-century boxer gentlemen are my new favorite style influence/exercise inspiration. Check it out:

John Carmel Heenan

Boxers of yore looked both bad-ass and distinguished, in contrast with this guy:


Mike Tyson makes me inexplicably sad. Moving on.

Larry Foley: Facial hair madness!

And look at the slim-fit and tailored lines on this excellent tank top thing:

Benny Leonard 1931

Their shoes are way better than more modern versions, though these are still pretty sweet:

'70s-era Adidas Boxing Shoes

A few years ago I went through a weird moment where I obsessively sought boxing shoes with no clear idea of how to incorporate them into my style. (Now I would just wear them with fashion  sweatpants — obviously).

Though I will never have the build of Mr. Ali, I definitely admire his lyricism and poetic grace in/out of the ring.

Ali did this really cool thing where he’d wear all-white boots and shorts always. It was a simple style differentiation but it made him look crisp, clean, and modern.

Muhammad Ali

This poor guy’s mug is something only  a mother could love, but check out that thank top thing again!

Tony Canzoneri

He’s also wearing leggings? Let’s not speak of it.

I love the idea of modernizing a boxer look by marrying it with the current renewed interest in suspenders/mixing high/low style:

Pierre Downing from Obvious Mag

Check out THIS GUY, looking like a turn-of-the-century boxing gentleman on his day off  (this is basically my current Sunday-morning  dream look):

Boxer/Railroad Gatsby

But for everyday excellence in the modern gentleman department, the award goes to the almost-otherworldly Philip Crangi, the amazing jewerly maker (AND former Providence resident, thank you very much).

Philip Crangi, RISD Grad, Style Icon

Crangi looks like he quit work on the tracks and then won a duel, changed his shirt, and is now prepared to drink whiskey in your saloon. Fashion hero.

Anyhow, there’s something classic and inevitable about lean muscle coupled with trim white t-shirts/fitted collared shirts/beards. And everyone knows how I feel about adding tattoos anachronistically: it is a no-brainer style upgrade that looks excellent every time*

Today on the train I read a Susan Miller piece about Uranus’s (ha!) orbit through Aries, and how one of many interesting implications is that boxing might become a popular Friday night sport again (you should actually read it to understand how she got there).

Here’s hoping it’s less Ultimate Fighting and more smart-brimmed well-dressed fans and good-mannered champs who always have the gentlemanly grace to help the loser to  their feet:

A guy can dream.

*Tribal tattoos possibly excepted here.

If you like my IBC posts, check out Original Plumbing on Mondays, where I’ll be holding forth for the next two months on trans-y stuff. 


About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here:

One comment

  1. All these dudes are hot!… Minus Tyson. Ima take a style bite.

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